Taking control over storage space on your entire Mac is a challenge. The challenge isn’t so much in keeping it clean, but rather in understanding what exactly you’re dealing with and what can be the source of an issue when one occurs.
First things first, junk files on your computer are not actual ‘junk’. Computing (macOS in particular) has evolved enough over to the years to avoid producing an absolute ‘waste’ and dumping it somewhere in your system without you being aware of it. What is often being referred to as junk is actually data that needs to be systematically erased from your system (automatically or manually) or is optional and takes up too little space to be worth removing by default. The exception are various types of malware and bloatware apps that do directly undermine the safety of your system and need to be repelled without hesitation.
Despite Mac maintenance scripts, there are roughly 12 types of files that occasionally require user’s attention — all kinds of caches, logs, binaries, backups, duplicates, localizations, etc. (you can find more info on every type in the infographic down below).
Each serve a purpose yet all are prone to getting corrupted, outdated or left behind. Accumulating such files does more than just take up space for nothing, yet ‘confuses’ your Mac potentially slowing down the way it operates. Therefore, preventative sweep-ups help Mac rebuild needed data and maximize its efficiency.
Despite cleanups being helpful you should not get overzealous. Depending on your use, the OS will accumulate different amounts of data that speeds up accessing certain apps or performing processes. Generally speaking, you should be running a cleaner only when you start noticing stutters. You can also can avoid cleaning out all of temporary data, and focus on what’s causing the issue instead.
When your browser cache gets corrupted, webpages load incorrectly and start taking substantially more time to load. Clear your browser cache to solve the problem and let it rebuild a new up-to-date one.
Log files are text data that is being stored on your Mac locally. It logs the events happening on your computer which can later be used to track and resolve issues. However, some issues can cause mac OS to generate enormous log files and take up tons of space. And while simply cleaning out logs without fixing the problem won’t accomplish anything, cleaning out logs after the issue has been resolved can free up additional space.
Whether it’s optimizing performance or making more room on your drive, systematic Mac cleaning benefits your system. Not feeling like running a full cleanup? Read up on the infographic below to learn more about the types of junk files on your Mac and ways to repel them.